Council passes $668M budget with 1 percent raise for city employees

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis City Council passed a $668.7 million operating budget for the next fiscal year.

The budget includes one percent raises for all city employees and raises of 1 and up to 2 percent for Memphis police officers based on seniority.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland proposed the police raises, but compensation for a large number of other positions—including firefighters—remained flat under his proposal.

Council members took money away from a Memphis police overtime budget increase in order to fund the raises for all employees.

The new budget is $1 million more than last year's budget. Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings' budget got an increase of $2 million.

"We're happy we are past the budget process and now we can focus on retaining our police officers and recruiting more police officers," Rallings said. "I thought we did a good job preparing a budget that met the needs we have."

The budget that was approved is one that Mayor Jim Strickland said he can be proud of.

"We've, overall, passed a really good budget that protects the public and serves our neighborhoods," Strickland said. "That is really what we aimed for."

Councilman Martavius Jones said he is taking back his idea to cut Memphis Police Department's budget by $7.3 million. He thought that money would be used to fund new positions.

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